Enter Shikari at Lee’s Palace

Photos by Katrina Lat.

I have waited years to see England’s Enter Shikari but previous attempts have been hampered by sickness.  Thankfully the British quartet returned to the city for their second visit promoting The Spark, the band’s fifth album.

While the band plays much larger venues in Europe, last night appeared to be a play to increase their visibility on this side of the pond.  While I’m only familiar with their most recent couple of albums, I’ve been baffled as to why this band is not bigger over here.

So Enter Shikari brought their arena show, lights and all and crammed it onto the relatively tiny stage at a packed Lee’s Palace.  Ten minutes before start-time began a tape with announcements over the course of the time counting down the time until the band hit the stage, complete with roaring airplanes.

The band started off with “The Sights” from their latest and delivered an absolutely bombastic set that lasted just over an hour.  The lights were over the top for Lee’s but really helped make the room feel bigger than it was.  Half of the lights would pass out for a few songs while the stage crew fixed the problem, allowing for the crowd to get a look at the stage without being blinded.

The songs were culled from all of their albums, the bulk coming from The Spark, and their mix of electronics and rock sounded full and great in the room, without going over the top.  And frontman Rou Reynolds is clearly one of the funkiest frontmen for a rock band I’ve seen.  As impressed as I was with the singing and screaming, it was his rhythm and moves that impressed me the most.

For a Tuesday night in Toronto, the crowd was also particularly fantastic, enthusiastically raising the temperature in the room.  Between the fist-pumping songs themselves, the pristine sound, a great crowd and the rhythm of Mr. Reynolds’ legs, the evening was the perfect excuse to head out on a Tuesday night.  Get these guys on some festival stages over here and they’ll soon be playing the same size rooms as they do in Europe.  Definitely worth the wait.

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